A Boy And His Rifle Part IV : The Modern Boy’s Rifle


In the last installment in this series I talked about the Remington 514 http://looserounds.com/2018/07/20/a-boy-and-his-rifle-part-iii-the-remington-model-514/

A classic vintage .22 bolt action rifle that many boys spend millions of summer days shooting at cans and birds and chipmunks and who knows what. I spent countless hours during the summers of the 1980s with my own Remington 513. Shooting at pests and a number of animate and inanimate objects in the hills. I recently started to think about what would I possibly be using if I was a kid now a days. Let’s forget the reality that there is likely no way in hell anyone would let a 10 year old boy wonder through the woods with a firearm by himself now a days. Even if they trusted the boy or girl and the boy or girl was trustworthy and mature enough, just one call from a “concerned ” neighbor would bring down more misery on the parents than job suffered.

Anyway, let’s pretend we exist in a wonder land where we could let kids act like they did in the 1980s and earlier. What kind of .22 rimfire might the kid of the current era carry?

I’m thinking the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22. Why not a AR type gun or a bolt action? well, it seems right to me that a kid start out with something a bit more simple. Something that has more in common with those Winchester M67s and Remington M113s than an M4 or a Sniper rifle. But since it is “current year” I made a few concessions to the reality that any Gen Z would want some things updated.

First Of course is the magazine. This would have to be a judgement call I think. I think any kid that plays evil vidja games would want 30 rounds though. And perhaps my policy is too laissez-faire for some of you. Don’t care.

Next is an optic. I put on this 10/22 a Leupold VarX-II I bought at a friend’s gun/pawn shop. I added a nice Weaver picatinny style base to mount it on.

This combo would make for a heck of a fun rifle with real ability for budding marksman. The groundhogs in the back 40 would not be safe.

Pest Crow that pulled my little sister’s pigtail

You can see how it shoots above. No big test. I put up this target at 30 yards, laid down prone and shot with just the old elbows in the dirt for support. Ammo was bulk pack federal something or other. Why would a 10 year old even care? I didn’t back then. All I cared about was getting 50 rounds of .22 for &1 .99.

I’m sure everyone would have their own ideas about what a boys rifle should be. even in “current year” REEEEEEEEE!! the old vintage Winchesters and Remingtons and Savages are excellent. But I’m getting to be an old guy now and those guns still appeal to me. As Maya would say I’m a “BOOMER” ( no, just Gen X Ackthually) but I thought imagining a 2019 modern boy’s rifle would be a neat mental excessive.


  1. Nah, I think the 10/22 is spot on. The scope would probably be a cheapy though like a Simmons. The 10/22 is just so simple, reliable and affordable.

    • I really like the article concept. I think selection of the 10/22 is spot on. Not sure about the scope selection but it certainly works in the scenario. Good read!

        • Honestly, I owe it to the concept to try your setup. I struggle to think of the 10/22 as being accurate enough at a range that would justify the use of a magnified optic.

          But, as the old saying guys “Don’t knock it until you try it” probably applies here.

  2. I started shooting on my dad’s Remington Nylon 10. But my first real rifle was this. My grandfather gave me his 10/22 when he came to visit one year. Still have it to this day. But that little rifle has killed more critters than all the other guns (in the house) combined (I think). Actually, about a month ago, i used it to pop a muskrat, which is like the 7th or 8th water rat I’ve shot with it. Love that rifle and it will go to my boy when he’s old enough. But on the topic of 30 round mags, I got my rifle when I was in HS, which was during the Clinton ban. I ended up with like 3 of them by the time the ban was over. Then i bought a few more. But honestly, if i’m shooting varmints around the house, 10 works fine. And open sights all the way.

  3. My 10/22 with open sights has its center of gravity right around the mag well. The 25 round mag is great for the range or plinking, but when I hike over hill and dale with it, the flush 10 round mag is much better.

    I’ve been wanting to get a 10/22 for my oldest, but I’d like for him to get a little better with a rifle first.

    • yeah that is true about center of balance, and the damn mag release is so weird, its too easy to hit it and dump the mags out in the weeds. I like the older style like used on the 77/22 bolt action.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I had been meaning to ask Shawn how he would set up a 10/22 for some time, and I finally did the other day. Glad he posted it up also.


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